where the writers are
Fran Manushkin and KATIE WOO

Though children's author Fran Manushkin loved to read as a child, she never dreamed of growing up to be a writer. But a friendship with Ezra Jack Keats, author/illustrator of the 1962 classic The Snowy Day, changed the course of her life.

"When I met him in 1966, I was a secretary in the college textbook department at Holt, Rinehart, and Winston," Manushkin remembers. "Ezra was working on Jennie's Hat at Harper & Row, and his editor mentioned that she needed a secretary. Ezra recommended me, I was interviewed, and I got the job. I was earning $95 a week at Holt and took a five dollar pay cut to move to Harper & Row. It was the best decision I ever made! I began working as [venerable editor] Charlotte Zolotow's secretary."

Manushkin tells how lessons learned behind the editorial desk led to a prolific career – still! – as a children's author, which includes her recent Katie Woo books, the first early reader series to feature an Asian main character, in my November children's market column at Authorlink.com.

To learn more about Manushkin and her many wonderful books, visit www.franmanushkin.com.